2017 Is All About Quality Time

2017 Phrase of the Year

In the past, there have been three words. There have been full-fledged strategic plans. This year, with the help of Lara Casey’s PowerSheets, I have a little bit of both. If you’re a goal-setting nerd like me, then definitely check out this workbook. Through a series of exercises at the start, the book helped me narrow down my hopes for 2017. Then, each goal gets its own action plan and each month gets its own tactics. Crazy, crazy detailed and oh my gosh, a great way to spend a Saturday night. (Dorky? Yes. Please see #3 below. I’m old.)

Through this work, I have decided my mantra for 2017 is


I know I’m not the only one who has three too many balls in the air at any given time. Between my daughters, this business, my husband, my house, my friends, and my own personal health, I barely find time to take a shower, let alone get the seven hours of sleep I need each night to function each day. I’m always running from thing to thing, thinking about my girls when I should be working or reading business blogs when I should be playing with them.

You know what I do seem to find time for though – stupid social media. Ugh. I waste so much time seeing what’s new on Facebook and clicking on articles I know are going to rile me up. Why do I do this?? Why do we all do this?? It’s not like we think we’re going to like what we see when we read the comments. (Hashtag – #neverreadthecomments).

So in the spirit of “quality time”, I’m going to make the most of the 525,600 minutes we get in 2017. (Well, minus the 1 minute I just lost googling how many minutes are in a year…) Here are the four goals that will get me there.

1. Remove the Clutter

Since I’m female, I always have 800 things running through my brain. Typically, at least 50% of them are guilt-based or about things I have no control over. To help maximize brain space, I’m going to “do” instead of just “plan”. I will have monthly days where I make freezer meals for my family. (Yep, the cobbler has no shoes… The dinner time struggle is real in my house just like yours!) I will also budget better so I can farm out tasks I don’t want to do (namely, our family’s yearbooks and someone to clean the house.) Professionally, I’m implementing the “Shiny Object Rule”, which states I must wait two weeks before acting on any dazzling new idea. Also, I’m setting up apps to block social media when I’m supposed to be working, ensuring I make the best use of my limited time when the ladies are at daycare. That way, I can focus on them when we all get home.

Big news!

I’m also budgeting to allow for assistance with The Real Good Life. Stay tuned for a virtual assistant job posting. I need marketing and admin help if I’m going to grow this business!

2. Make an Impact

Y’all know I would bake cookies just for the hell of it, but I want to make a mark in this world. That could take the form of something large like a special project for the Hunger Task Force or simply helping y’all get a weeknight dinner on the table. I look forward to supporting Milwaukee’s nonprofit community and those in need during 2017. (To start, I’ll see y’all at the Junior League of Milwaukee’s Hearts & Hops event in February. I’ll have sinful desserts to pair with the beer tastings that night.)

3. Age Gracefully

Look, I know 36 isn’t that old, but I’m officially at a place where I wake up needing to work out the kinks and apply under-eye makeup to look presentable. To help, I’ve got some ideas like sleep at least 7 hours a night and drink at least 8 cups of water each day. To keep my mind healthy, I’m going to stick with two news-related emails (theSkimm and The Presidential Daily Brief), the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Sunday version, and a monthly subscription to Vanity Fair for my “what’s going on in the world” news. As a grown-up it is important I stay current instead of putting my head in the sand when I know the news is frustrating. Because of that, I’m making an effort to ignore the click bait on the interwebs that I know will hurt my heart. As a business owner who spends the majority of her work days alone in a church basement, I use social media to stay connected to the outside world and advertise my business, but with age comes wisdom. And that wisdom tells me that nothing good will come out of reading the comments on certain Facebook posts. Have I mentioned how much I hate the comments???

4. Become My Dad

Probably my favorite part of this workbook was that it led me to the conclusion that I’m just trying to be my dad. If you didn’t know him, here’s Mark in a nutshell – he was the guy who loved fiercely and was interested in everything. He always took the adventurous option and never met a person he couldn’t engage in conversation. He taught me a lot, but the number one lesson from him is that life is too short to bitch. I can’t whistle like he could, but I can give out hugs and pontificate like it is my job. Moral of the story – give me a call if you want support to work through a problem or need a compliment. This is the year I do more of both.

So that’s my plan. What’s yours? If your plan is “let’s just see where the world takes me”, three cheers to you, guy. I like that idea just as much as a bullet-pointed, spiral bound spreadsheet.

Let’s do this!